The return to nursing practice programme

The return to practice programme is a combination of classroom and placement-based learning. 

The hours you spend on placement will vary and be negotiated with you, depending how long you have been off the NMC register.  

The whole programme can take three to 12 months to complete. The university you choose will be able to provide further information. 

NMC requirements and re-registration

If you were a registered nurse but have had a break, you will need to meet a number of requirements to re-register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), including completing a number of practice hours. If you have not completed the required number of practice hours you will have to complete an approved Return to Practice (RTP) programme before applying to re-join the register.

If your registration was removed by one of the NMC’s fitness to practise panels, you will have to apply for restoration to the register.

Throughout the programme you will develop a portfolio that demonstrates your skills. The portfolio will be sent to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to record the completion of your return to practice programme and your re-registration.

Courses available across the country

Led by supportive tutors and mentors, there are approximately 40 courses available across the country, all created to refresh your nursing skills so that you’re ready to return to practice.

A proportion of your programme will be based at a university, with the tutors working with you to support your learning experience.

The remainder of the time will be spent on a clinical placement, where a mentor will work with you to record your competence in clinical skills.

There are also a number of universities running RTP programmes in general practice nursing in the East of England, LondonNorth East, North West, South West and West Midlands regions of England.

In Thames Valley, Wessex, Sussex and Surrey there are currently no specific Return to general practice nursing courses. However, support networks are in place in these areas to enable students to go through a GP practice with general practice nursing support. You should contact the universities running the RTP nursing programmes to find out more.

Numeracy skills

If you are considering a return to practice course and are concerned about your numeracy skills, you can access the SNAP numeracy testing tool to develop and improve your existing skills. 

You'll need to register on the website to use the tool. 

You will then be asked to complete a short registration form to create your username and password. After completing the form you will receive a message confirming that your registration is awaiting approval and will receive a further message within a few days to inform you that your registration is complete.

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